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NAPABA Contact: Brian Wang (202) 775-9555

April 20, 2010

AAJC Contact: Nicole Duran (202) 296-2300, ext. 144

APA Leaders Pleased With Goodwin Liu's Testimony
Before the Senate Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON - On Friday, the U.S. Senate took the first step towards confirming Professor Goodwin Liu to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Liu was nominated on Feb. 24, and is the sixth Asian Pacific American nominated to the federal bench by President Obama. Liu's hearing was chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and attended by members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus including Chair Mike Honda and Reps. Doris Matsui, Gregorio Sablan, Bobby Scott, and David Wu.

"Professor Liu is eminently qualified to serve on the appellate bench," said Joseph J. Centeno, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "The temperament he displayed during the hearing is exactly what we hope for from our judges. Professor Liu was measured, balanced, open-minded, respectful, cool, and powerfully lucid."

Liu has received strong support from conservative stalwarts, including: famed Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr; Clint Bolick, Director of Constitutional Litigation at the Goldwater Institute; Bob Barr, former Republican Member of Congress and active member of the American Conservative Union; and Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.

"Professor Liu is clearly a mainstream thinker who would have the utmost restraint and respect for precedent," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center. "In his testimony, Professor Liu addressed his critics directly and emphasized that personal beliefs are not in play in judging and that judges are neutral arbiters of controversies that come before court."

Liu, a first generation Taiwanese American, is a distinguished graduate of Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He is a former Rhodes Scholar, a former Supreme Court clerk, and a member of the American Law Institute. He has worked as a corporate litigator and as a key policy advisor in two federal agencies. In 2003, Liu returned to his home state of California to join the faculty of UC Berkeley School of Law, one of the nation's top law schools, and earned tenure and promotion to Associate Dean in five years. He received a rating of Unanimous Well Qualified from the American Bar Association, which is its highest rating. Currently there are there are no Asian Pacific Americans on the Circuit Court of Appeals or higher. Liu and President Obama's nominee to the Second Circuit, Judge Denny Chin, are waiting to be confirmed.

Centeno and Narasaki thank President Obama for nominating Professor Liu and California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for supporting him.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 63 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates - the Asian American Institute in Chicago, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles - and nearly 100 community partners in 47 cities, 25 states and the District of Columbia.


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